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Kazuyuki Katsube

Katsube Kazuyuki

Born in Osaka in 1958 1976 Joined Meiji Seika Co., Ltd. 1981 Graduated from Sozosha Design College

Joined a graphic design company in 1981

Joined Package Design Office in 1982

1988 Established Katsube Design Office

Looking back on my life as a designer ...

There were many twists and turns in my life as a designer. I would like to introduce a little here.

Teens to 20s

I wasn't aiming to be a designer from the beginning. I was an ordinary high school student studying for entrance exams. When I got home on the day of the announcement of my university pass, my relatives gathered and were in a turmoil. The usually bright mother was crying. When asked, "What's wrong?" "My father's company went bankrupt." That day was the day when heaven and hell came at once.

My father ran a construction company. After that, I had a lot of debt and I gave up going to college and started working. About half a year later, I felt suffocated at the company and felt that I was not suitable for the organization. At that time, I found an admission guide for a design vocational school in the newspaper, and since I was little, I was good at drawing, so I decided to bet on design. I worked hard for two years and saved my tuition. After graduating from a vocational school, I got a job at a design company in Osaka. The workplace was full of young people and it was a really fun day, but can I stay here and become a good designer in the future? I decided to go to Tokyo in search of a higher level environment. But the week before I went to Tokyo, I was scouted by the director of Hakuhodo. The director introduced me to a famous teacher. That was the encounter with the teacher who changed my destiny. Then the days of hard training began. No matter how I designed it, it was denied and I completely lost confidence. However, it was my pleasure to see the first-class work beside the teacher. Eventually, after the five-year training period, he decided to resign and become independent.


I set up an office in Umeda at the age of 30. As an independent person, I had no job at all. My daughter is just born so I have to work. I bought a used bicycle and went around the Umeda company from the beginning. At first, I just started a company and I can't deal with it. However, as I went there many times, I was able to work little by little. It coincided with the bubble period and I became very busy. The annual income was four times that of the training era. My annual income increased as a result of my independence, but what made me even more happy was that I was free. Do your favorite work at your own discretion. I felt the utmost satisfaction and happiness. And two years later it was incorporated. Everything went well, but in the summer of my third year, the chief of the customer who was indebted to me quit, and I stopped working at all. Due to stress such as cash flow, I suffered from duodenal ulcer at the end of the year and was hospitalized for 2 months. I felt like I could do anything in the state of "carp on a chopping board". After leaving the hospital, I started working little by little while checking my physical condition. It was really helpful to see some people working around, saying, "I was waiting for you to leave the hospital." Thank you and thank you. After that, the company picked up and the number of employees increased. The Mac landed in Japan around 1994, and the digital age has finally arrived. After work, I learned the app by myself. I remember returning on the last train every day.


In the late 1990s, Japan fell into a great depression and many large companies went bankrupt. My office was also affected in no small measure. I remember receiving an emergency loan.

I participated in the Package Design Association's overseas inspection tour for the first time when I was 42 years old (2000-). After that, I continued to participate and visited more than 20 design-related facilities in Europe and the United States. For me, this experience was the second turning point in my life as a designer. I witnessed a world completely different from the Japanese design industry. Unlike the ideological Japan, I was shocked by the fact that design is completely established as a business in the United States. Looking back, I think the 40s did the best job. The work performance was gradually evaluated, and the number of customers gradually increased. When you can afford it, you can relax. I went to Kitashinchi almost every day and played around. A few months later, my liver screamed and I was hospitalized again. After leaving the hospital, I changed my mind and began to refrain from playing. After that, the staff grew and the amount of work increased dramatically.


The latter half of the 2000s was a time when the Japanese economy was in a sharp recession due to the Lehman shock. Especially in Kansai, many offices were closed (many excellent seniors were closed during this period). At the same time, the unit price of the design fee will drop, and if you do not do more work than ever before, sales will not increase. It is a so-called "no poverty" state. Thanks to my office, sales fluctuated, but I think I managed to overcome it. In this era, digital technologies such as SNS grew dramatically. I felt that the social and work environment was gradually changing. Around this time, I began to think vaguely about trying to do a slightly different job (lifestyle). From my late 50s, I began to have the opportunity to teach design to young people based on the experience I have cultivated over many years through an internship project commissioned by the city of Osaka and a part-time lecturer at a vocational school.


I reached the 60th birthday last year. I would like to continue to work hard as a designer. I will continue as much as I can as my vocation. In the future, I would like to gradually shift my center of gravity to the work of passing on the design technology I have cultivated to my juniors. With the coming AI era, I can't imagine what the design work and industry will be like, but I would like to see it.

Thank you for reading the long text.

I will continue to devote myself to this.

Thank you for your continued support.

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